This time of life has been termed by leaders of the church as a decade of decision, with so many of the choices we make now having an outsized influence on our later destiny. This last month has felt like a month of milestones.
First, a shout out to Matt. He texted me yesterday encouraging me to write again, and that was a push I needed, to finally sit down and finish typing.
I suppose the first order of news is that I have graduated. Officially. Yes, it was a wee bit close. I did work hard this last semester finishing everything up. I had two concerns. One, for physical science 100, you can take the entire class or can rely completely on the final exam. I chose the latter route, and was challenged despite putting in hours of studying. I just needed a 60 to walk out and be done. I scored a 58 and when I saw that, I was crushed. However, turns out they curved the class 10 points, so I ended with a D+. By far my lowest grade in college, but I’ll take that without any complaints.
The second was my thesis, which if I scored sufficiently high would allow me to skip taking English 150. I pulled another all-nighter, my second in college finishing it up. I wrote until 6:30 am when I dashed off to take a history final, which was scheduled for 7, and when I completed that ran to the library for another 90 minutes and then quite literally sprinted to the advisors room to hand it in before the 10 am deadline. And my grade let me skip the basic english class.
So, after three years and six completed semesters, I’m done! I have loved my time at college, and believe that I’ve learned what I needed to during my time here, and am ready to keep moving forward. I appreciated my dad, Breyer and the Bach’s coming out to celebrate with me. We went to Toucano’s one night, and feasted on Brazilian BBQ. They witnessed convocation, with Elder Kearon and Arthur Brooks, as well commencement. When I walked across the stage, everything felt real; I am a college graduate!
Only a few days after graduation, I talked with Amanda about ending our relationship. She thought it best to take a week to think things through, and I agreed. I’ve realized lately that I do have a proclivity to make quick decisions, and while I don’t think they are rash or impulsive, some could use more time to fully flesh out and gain a greater grasp of the complexities.
I talked with lots of people throughout the week, working through my feelings out loud and trying to do what was right. There was fasting and temple visits and above all else, a prayer that I would do what is right. Looking back more objectively, I can say that I know it was without question the right choice, but it was not easy. It could’ve worked, but I don’t think it should’ve. Even now, I can’t describe the exact reason why. And that made it hard because it was difficult to explain to Amanda. Thoughts are hard to put into words, and feelings even harder. Basically, I gave us a shot, but couldn’t see us together in the future. Once I realized that, I had to end our relationship. I entered dating prepared to be hurt, but never imagined having to hurt someone else. That was the worst. Nevertheless, I am thankful for the five weeks that we were together and for everything that happened. It was a great time, and I think I really grew and learned a lot. I met her mom, and do admire her family, and she was able to meet everyone who came to my graduation. Having been fairly serious, I’ve been able to take a step back now without any pressure and dig deep, thinking about expectations vs. reality and work on figuring out what love really means.
The week between first broaching the subject and then our return to talk was not fun at all. One of the worst weeks I can remember. I had just moved, moving closer, only one street away from Amanda, and also leaving the Crestwood, where I was comfortable and settled, surrounded by friends. I had gone from trying to juggle school, a church calling, a relationship, to having nothing. And time for anything. After a few rough days were I mostly lounged, and just in general lacked much discipline and didn’t act with much purpose, I got my act together and started trying to take advantage of my free time. I’ve complained a lot about school and have been frustrated by feeling that I often didn’t learn anything, or especially didn’t learn anything that I could not have taught myself. These few days made me realize that one benefit of school is the structure; you are paying in part for the class schedule, with its hopefully rigorous learning outline. So, I created one for myself, and went back to following the missionary schedule of sleeping at 10:30 and waking up at 6:30, with hours of instruction. Another reason I decided to forgo my last year is because the amount of classes you can take online for, both for free and others for a comparative pittance. Lifelong learning is one aim of a BYU education and I intend to follow that.
I’ve also been actively looking for a job. There have been about 30 applications and 4 interviews. This has been much harder than I imagined, and a wake-up call. I have another promising interview tomorrow, and from now on, am planning on mentioning my start-up experience. Before, I have been skeptical to bring it up, as I though it might appear that I am too independent and less corporate focused. I did have two other interviews arranged through a temp company and both offered me the job, one doing accounting, the other working on the phone handling customer service for an insurance company. However, they paid $15-16 an hour, and wanted at least a 6-month commitment. I can’t imagine it will take me that long to find something significantly better. I graduated college, and think I should get a better job now, not something that is roughly the same, with only the hours increasing. At times it is extremely frustrating feeling stuck and seeing others working. At others, I remember that last May I was golfing in Texas and try to just be patient, continue to search, and make sure I fill my time with meaningful activities.
Last week I logged 30 hours as a receptionist at an electric company in American Fork. This was a temporary gig as they had fired someone unexpectedly and needed help staying afloat in the office. Their phone barely rang and I helped the company catch up with some of their accounting tasks. It was good to earn some money, and I found the financials of the company, with 3 owners, and some 100 electricians in the field fascinating. They charge a flat $65 per hour per electrician, but on average only pay their workers $30 an hour. Its also crazy because when I was working at Canopy, we were so happy to reach $7 million in ARR, and considered this a milestone, but this electric company had brought in $19 million in 2018. Obviously Canopy could scale much more than this electric company, but the electric company is still so much more profitable. Most of their projects are for schools and hospitals, but they did the electric for the Oklahoma City Temple renovation recently, and I enjoyed knowing that however small my role was, I helped, reconciling their accounts and helping to finish the paperwork off for that project. The temple will be rededicated and opened again this Sunday.
Its also been a great blessing to have some work with Uncle Ben and Mission Lawn Care LLC. I appreciate the money, and love doing some physical work and feeling worn out by the end.
Historically when I have been tempted, or more accurately, give in to temptation to procrastinate, I’ve turned to chess. As a quick pat on my own shoulder, I am proud that my ranking has fluctuated between 1700-1750 since December, reaching a high of 1765 in April, the highest I’ve ever been. In an effort not to waste time, I committed to cutting chess out during finals. So I turned to Duolingo as the mind still needs an outlet. One of my summer goals was to learn German, so I got a bit of a jumpstart on that goal, and have diligently studied and practiced every day for a month now. Ich bin Hunter. Hunter Schenewark. Of course, feeling good about the progress I’ve made, I tried reading the Book of Mormon and knew almost no words, so there is a lot, lot, lot of work to be done before I’m ready to head to die berge Deutschlands.
Another goal that I am much less enthusiastic about is a half-marathon coming up. If you know me, you know I hate running just to run. If there is a ball involved that changes things, but to pound the pavement, I particularly derive no pleasure. Except for the feeling of accomplishment. So, with a friend I’ve signed up for a half-marathon in August just across the border into Wyoming. I’ve begun running, and am going to keep at it.
Two days before everyone converged for graduation, I went to part of Kimball’s bachelor party at TopGolf. We were there for 90 minutes, and it was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, on the way back, my tire went flat. I hobbled off the interstate, as an exit was near, but it was already 10 pm, and the tire would need to be replaced, so we (Lawson and I) left the van and I rode back with Kimball. The timing was fortuitous, however, as Dad and Bro. Bach helped run me around town. Bro. Bach bought a new tire, and we were able to talk about marriage and other important things as we worked to put it in. It took two jacks, as the car was on an incline, but its good as new again.
Ok, almost done. I know this is a long post.
Since school ended, one of my favorite activities has been to attend the Provo Great Books Club. I’ve wanted to attend for a while, but have been too busy. We meet every Wednesday at the founder’s house, that of Karl Scott. He teaches the Great Books and works at the Constitution Center at UVU. He is also an Anglican, and its cool learning some of what he believes and he definitely provides variety to the group. There is usually 5-6 other people who attend. Most of the people are professors, either at BYU or UVU. We’ve worked through Aristotle’s Politics and are going through part of Plutarch’s Lives.
Pres. Young had invited me to lunch a while back, and that happened May 3rd. We went to Costa Vida, and he bought me lunch and we talked. And talked. It was a really good time, and I appreciate his willingness to always meet with me.
The next day, he texted me unexpectedly and said that his company was unable to use his corporate soccer pass for the Real Salt Lake Game, and asked if I would like the four tickets. Having just returned from mowing with Uncle Ben, and not having anyone to go with, I initially declined, but then thought better and twenty minutes later messaged back and accepted. I called a couple guy friends and we had a blast. The game was fantastic, the atmosphere was exciting, and the tickets came with unlimited food. We ate our body weight in burgers and ice cream. Real Salt Lake lost 2-1, but we definitely won.
I’m still waiting for a calling, but my ward so far seems really good. I hosted a Come Follow Me discussion group Tuesday. Five people showed up, and we went over Matthew 19-20, and ate cinnamon rolls.
I also went on date on Sunday with Brielle from my ward. She is from New Hampshire, attending BYU, and served a mission in St. Louis. We went singing at Jamestown Assisted Living Center and then returned to my house where Robert W. and his girlfriend Hayley joined us for rhubarb pie and ice cream. 10/10. Brielle came over for the discussion group on Tuesday, but alas, when I asked for a second date, she told me today that she has been going on dates with someone else for a while, and that they are going to start going exclusive. So I moved quick, but not quick enough.
Finally, golf. I’ve been playing once a week, limited not by time, but trying to spend conservatively. Its been lots of fun. I sold my sound system and some other items through facebook marketplace, and I’ve been using this as my spending money.
Champions birdie the last hole. It really is about working hard and finishing well, overcoming any obstacles on the way to reach the end goal. Here is a quote that I like: Carl Jung said, “No tree can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell.” While I can’t complain about anything, and haven’t really had any hardships, I am grateful for the experiences that stretch me even a little bit. I really am grateful for everything that has and is happening. Not everything occurs in the time that I want it to, but I do trust in God’s plan, and his timing. And I pray that His will be done.